Bear Spray vs. Pepper Spray (video)

Know the difference between bear spray and pepper spray and whether bear spray is actually better than self defense pepper spray (or not) as well as one potentially good reason to consider bear spray that I hadn’t thought about before: crowd dispersal.

Also, here’s a good FAQ from Sabre on the topic of pepper spray, if interested.

Now, the video…

Dual Purpose EDC Self Defense Tools (video)

If you don’t (or can’t) carry real self defense tools then consider these potential dual purpose items. Although I enjoyed the introduction you can skip to about the 5:10 mark to get to the heart of the video. I should point out that a few of the ideas (like the change in sock idea) are getting a bit far-fetched for real-life use but most of them are spot-on, a few of which I’d never considered before…

Krav Maga Tactical Survival Book Review

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I was sent this book, Krav Maga Tactical Survival: Personal Safety In Action by Gershon Ben Keren, a few months ago in exchange for an honest review…

Normally I avoid book reviews these days. I’m not sure if it’s that I don’t have time to read them or that I feel like “I’ve seen it all” but when I was asked to review this book I said “yes” and I’m quite glad I did.

The first thing I noticed was how sturdy and well put together the book was as they sure didn’t skimp on the cost to put it together, that’s for sure. Though paperback, the pages are thick, the illustrations are numerous and in color, and I’m positive this book will last a long time… I’ve already been through it twice and there’s no sign of wear whatsoever.

Anyway, when I got the book I dove right in. Separated into five distinct parts, I was a bit surprised that the author got straight to the point and started discussing various striking techniques right from the start. That said, I guess it isn’t that shocking considering this book IS about Krav Maga… those folks don’t mess around!

Really, I would have assumed part two (on armed and unarmed self-defense scenarios) would have been a better place to start since there’s a lot in there about de-escalation techniques, how people interpret the world and reason when angry, warning signs, and more. I really learned more than I figured I would about the subtopic.

Besides striking techniques, the author also spends quite a bit of time discussing armed and unarmed assaults (parts three and four, respectively) which are easily the majority of the book by number of pages. To be honest, by the fourth part on unarmed assaults my head started to spin and I got a bit overwhelmed, lol. And, so, I found myself breezing through part five on throws the first time through without retaining much of anything. I eventually decided to go back over the book a few weeks later.

Now I should point out…

To be clear, one cannot learn a hand-to-hand combat technique by reading a book once or twice and then expecting to know what you’re doing, that’s silly.

People spend years (even a lifetime) trying to get these techniques down in a classroom setting all while being taught by instructors who know what they’re doing and who can correct your form properly.

That’s NOT what this book is about… please don’t think you can learn Krav Maga by reading this–or any–book on the subject, you can’t.

What you can do is to use this book as (1) a great introduction to an awesome self defense system and (2) as a fall-back reference for when SHTF after you’ve had proper classroom instruction.

Now, I can’t say that I’ve read other books on the topic or had proper classroom instruction on Krav Maga, but I can say that I’ve taken martial arts in the past and, in my humble opinion, they pale in comparison to what Krav Maga can be.

Why THIS Book?

With regards to this book, however, what I like most about it is the author’s take on what Krav Maga can do for you. He’s not touting it as the “be all, end all” self defense system but as one more tool in your toolkit.

Moreover, the author restates time and again how fluid a situation can be and that a classroom setting really is different from a real life confrontation; because of this understanding he continually reaffirms how important it is to NOT get set on dealing with a particular situation (or strike or encounter) in only one way like many self defense systems tend to do.

I also really like how detailed the author’s instructions and illustrations are. The illustrations are numerous and include additional details which reinforce what’s being taught quite well… this really is what the book is all about.

One thing which took me a bit of time to get used to was how the illustrations tended to be intermingled with his instruction. In other words, if I’d followed the book literally, reading page by page, I would have (at times) been trying to read his instructions and then forced to start on the illustrations before I’d finished the instructions. What I would have preferred was the complete instructions on a particular technique then to move onto the illustrations, but I’m guessing it was done this way to save space. I got used to it so this wasn’t a big deal my second time through.

Ultimately, I’d suggest this book, Krav Maga Tactical Survival, is a welcome addition to your survival library and maybe even a great catalyst to getting YOU into the classroom!

Simple Solar Water Distilling – Easy DIY (video)

I’ve never had much luck distilling water with DIY ideas like this but maybe there’s hope yet. The one change I’d like to see is the collection bottles angled downward to collect more water but then this idea won’t work quite as easily, plus I don’t see why you can’t just tape the lids together to save yourself time…

The Tsunami App: An Innovative Safety Solution You Can Help With

Want to do something good for the world today? Great! Here’s how..

Back The Tsunami App Kickstarter. Developed by Alexander Artyukhin, this smartphone app is aimed at warning people the moment tsunami conditions are triggered and even providing safe routes to help people get away as fast as possible, likely saving countless lives.

Here, watch the video:

Pretty neat, right?

You can learn more at their website and also back the project on Kickstarter here.

And the press release:

Revolutionary app could save thousands of lives during the next natural disaster

Austin, TX: With each passing year, tsunamis and floods pose increasing threats to populations around the globe. Working with experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we have created an app designed to protect vulnerable residents and visitors from the next catastrophe. On February 15, we will launch a Kickstarter campaign to collect the remaining funds required to put the app into action.

TheTsunami app will tap into a global network of dozens of buoys designed by the NOAA to detect tsunami-related disturbances at a moment’s notice.

The moment we detect a disturbance, we will provide users with real-time alerts and all of the information they will need to protect themselves and their loved ones.

During any sort of tsunami-related disturbance, users will have the following invaluable resources at their fingertips:

  • A countdown to when the tsunami is expected to hit
  • Live updates of the height and speed of the wave
  • The option to share the relevant data with friends and loved ones
  • A comprehensive evacuation plan, showing you the nearest safe zone and how to get there
  • News updates relevant to the tsunami
  • Confirmation that you have reached the safe zone

During any sort of flooding – whether the floods are caused by a tsunami, a hurricane or any other disaster – stranded users can tap the app’s SOS button to be immediately connected with all relevant emergency professionals in the vicinity. With one tap of the button, all nearby emergency professionals will be alerted to the user’s exact location. Thus, users can focus on tending to their immediate needs rather than calling 911 and attempting to discern their own whereabouts. The technology we have developed will work even when GPS signals are at their weakest.

So long as the coast is clear, users can open and explore the app to double-check that everything’s ok, to help craft a tsunami/flood survival plan, to read up on the latest news or to learn more about TheTsunami and the technologies we rely on.

TheTsunami app is designed in a minimalistic and straightforward fashion. Our goal is to save as many lives as possible; we don’t want any of our users to have to spend valuable time flipping through endless screens and dense text.

It is also fully automated. The elimination of the human factor will save time, ensure against human error and – as a result of both of these elements – save lives.

We have already signed a memorandum of understanding to gain access to the NOAA’s network of buoys, and have established a comprehensive app development plan. All we need now to make TheTsunami app a reality is to gather funds required to secure access to the buoy network and to fine-tune the server. We plan to raise the funds we’ll need by March 2017. Then, we’ll move forward with development. We plan to go live just a few months later, by mid-summer.

Remember, they’re not asking for much and now you have the power to save countless lives. 🙂

Back The Tsunami App Kickstarter.

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The Firewaall: Vertical Fire Curtain (link)

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I’m not sure how useful this firewaall (and, no, I didn’t spell that wrong) is for survival purposes but it does have some potential applications as a nice camp out conversation piece, lol…

“OK, in all seriousness, the old-fashioned campfire is just fine in most situations. But a Canadian company just launched a new contraption called a Firewaall. It’s pretty neat.

The made-in-Canada apparatus simply holds wood in a wall-like form. Start the fire with tinder in the bottom, add some larger sticks, and enjoy a vertical blaze.

What’s the point? Good question. First, the Firewaall contains fire in a way that looks pretty efficient. The vertical nature of the wall helps it radiate heat outward. It elevates fire too, which would be nice on a frozen lake…”

Read the full article here

Could You Rebuild Civilization? (link)

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This particular post got my attention as it’s a question I sometimes ask myself, but rather than it being “me” I wonder if “we” as a society could honestly get back to where we are now after some global (or even national) catastrophe?

Granted, the pole shift catastrophe mentioned at the start of the article doesn’t seem very likely but there certainly are ones to consider–even if they’re not fully world-encompassing–everything from a pandemic to WW3 to EMP… the list is bigger than most people realize.

Regardless, the relatively small list of technological skills included in the following article offers some thought-starters and, while I don’t agree with all of them as being necessary, it should make you start to realize just how dependent we truly are on technology.

Yes, we as preppers spend our time preparing for such events but just how long could we make it before we’re essentially forced to live an 1800’s lifestyle if we’re lucky? A decade? A generation?

Who knows. What I do know is that most of us just aren’t prepared (physically and mentally for sure) for such a drastic change to our lives and we’ll quickly realize just how much we take for granted everything in our lives, from the shoes on our feet to the filament that lights up the darkness, we’ll miss it all one day…

“Most people would agree that when disaster strikes, what you know is one of the most important things you will have to work with. Your knowledge base is the one thing you can carry with you wherever you go. It will allow you to create items from locally available materials and improve your situation, whatever it may be. It is this mindset that many preppers use to improve their chances if the unthinkable should happen.

But lets take this mindset a step further. What would you be capable of doing if a global catastrophe happened? One such as a pole shift that destroys much of the infrastructure, knowledge and people that know how to build things and how they work. Would you be able to recreate some of the things you would need to rebuild society if you had to start from scratch with only your knowledge to guide you?

I like to play a mental game sometimes to help me understand just how much I actually know so I can identify what I need to learn…”

Read the full article here

Solar Lantern Charges Your Phone (link)

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Solar powered lights are all the rage these days, aren’t they? I know I have a few myself and even one made by the folks who created this new inflatable solar lantern that charges your cell phone too.

I know the post talks about this being a prototype and that you can back it as a kickstarter here, but it sure looks to me like you can purchase one on Amazon (link removed because I was wrong) and for a reasonable price too…

“A few deep breaths inflate LuminAID‘s latest lantern. Hang it up and illuminate your entire tent. When the sun rises, the lantern packs down small and recharges with solar energy.

LuminAID has been making portable inflatable lanterns since 2011. The company’s Kickstarter campaign launched February 7 for its PackLite Max Phone Charger. This lantern boasts the same power output as the PackLite Max but now has the ability to also charge your phone…”

Read the full article here